NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Friday preview

The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series heads back to the East Coast for the second of back-to-back four-wide events at luxurious zMax Dragway in Charlotte.
24 Apr 2024
NHRA National Dragster staff
4 wide

The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series heads back to the East Coast for the second of back-to-back four-wide events at luxurious zMax Dragway in Charlotte. Two weeks ago in Las Vegas, we got an industrial-strength dose of four-wide racing that included a fantastic Funny Car final that featured a rare triple holeshot, in addition to extremely competitive runs in Top Fuel and Pro Stock.

Doug Kalitta, Bob Tasca III, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. emerged as the Las Vegas champions, so they’ll each head to Charlotte with a lot of momentum as the season heads into the busy summer months.

Ironically, Kalitta had never won a four-wide event before Las Vegas, where he topped Justin Ashley, Steve Torrence, and Tony Stewart in a wildly competitive final round.

Last year, Austin Prock won the Charlotte four-wide race in Top Fuel, and his teammate, Robert Hight, drove to the Funny Car win. Now, Prock is driving Hight’s car, which makes him the favorite to defend his title. Prock has already won in his first year in the Funny Car class, and he comes into Charlotte as the championship leader.

While Prock has been nearly flawless this season, it’s Bob Tasca III who is coming in on a high note after winning the Las Vegas race via a rare triple holeshot. In one of the best races of this or any other season, Tasca left first and outran the quicker entries of Prock, Ron Capps, and Matt Hagan to the finish line.

Funny Car has produced four different winners in the first four races, and so far, that doesn’t include Hagan or Capps, who could easily extend that streak to five.

The Pro Stock class has also had four different winners in four events, including six-time champ Erica Enders, Greg Anderson, Dallas Glenn, and Las Vegas champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. Any one of those four could easily become the season’s first repeat winner, but then again, Troy Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield, Matt Hartford, defending event winner Deric Kramer, and a host of others may have something to say about that.

When it comes to first-time winners, the Pro Stock class is ripe with prospects, including Vegas low qualifier Jerry Don Tucker, Brandon Foster, rookie Sienna Wildgust, Eric Latino, Mason McGaha, and the three Cuadra brothers, Fernando Jr., David, and Cristian. With 22 drivers on the pre-entry list, there will be an epic battle just to be a part of Sunday’s 16-car field.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, the biggest question is, can anyone stop Gaige Herrera? The winner of 11 events last season, Herrera was dominant in Gainesville, where the two-wheel class kicked off the 2024 season. Herrera is also the defending event winner and current national and track record holder.

Those looking to unseat Herrera include Matt and Angie Smith, former champ LE Tonglet, Steve Johnson, Hector Arana Jr., Kelly Clontz, and 2023 NHRA Rookie of the Year Chase Van Sant.

In addition to a full roster of NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Sportsman classes, the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte will also feature the second race for the Holley EFI Factory X class and the season debut of the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mountain Motor Pro Stock class.

Austin Prock, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Deric Kramer, Pro Stock; Gaige Herrera, Pro Stock Motorcycle

Top Fuel - 3.647 seconds by Mike Salinas, Sept. '23; 338.00 mph by  Salinas, Sept., ‘23.
Funny Car - 3.824 seconds by Robert Hight, Sept. '23; 335.57 mph by Ron Capps, Sept. '23.
Pro Stock - 6.455 seconds by Jason Line, March '15; 215.48 mph by Greg Anderson, March '15.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.706 seconds by Gaige Herrera, Sept. ’23; 203.49 mph by Eddie Krawiec, May ’21.

Top Fuel - 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. ‘19, Reading; 338.94 mph by B. Force, Nov. ‘22, Pomona.
Funny Car - 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. '17, Brainerd; 339.87 mph by Hight, July ’17, Sonoma.
Pro Stock - 6.450 sec. by Erica Enders, Mar. ’22, Gainesville; 215.55 mph by Enders, May ’14, Englishtown.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.627 sec. by Gaige Herrera, Oct. ’23, Ennis, Texas; 205.04 mph by Matt Smith, July ’21, Sonoma.


FRIDAY, April 26: Lucas Oil Series qualifying and time trials at 8 a.m.; Pro Stock qualifying at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, April27: Lucas Oil Series eliminations at 8 a.m.; Pro Stock qualifying at noon and 2:15 p.m.; Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, April 14: Pre-race ceremony, 11 a.m.; eliminations begin at noon.


SUNDAY, April 28: FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 a.m. (ET)
SUNDAY, April 28: FS1 will televise three hours of final eliminations at 6 p.m. (ET)